Chatham University

Chatham University Honor System and Academic Integrity Policy

As an institution, Chatham University expects all members of its community to hold themselves to the highest standards of academic and personal integrity in living, working and studying together. As a member of this community, students agree to abide by the Honor Code, take responsibility for their actions and to be held accountable for the impact and consequences these actions have on themselves and others.

Academic misconduct is a serious and significant violation of the Honor Code which undermines its tenets of intellectual independence, consideration for the rights and wellbeing of others, honesty in all relationships, and personal integrity.

To uphold the tenets of the Honor Code it is necessary to establish standards around academic integrity to ensure that the pursuit of knowledge at the University adheres to the principles of academic honesty and provides guidance for evaluating the quality of student work in a fair manner.

The purpose of this policy is to outline the academic integrity process in place at Chatham University to identify, report, and adjudicate acts of academic misconduct by students within all academic pursuits at the University.

+Honor Code

Intellectual Independence

The academic community at Chatham University is founded on the principle of intellectual independence, which requires each member to conduct herself or himself honestly and with responsibility in scholarly affairs and to respect and acknowledge the ideas of others. Members of the Chatham community will refrain from engaging in any form of dishonesty that impedes the academic process, including cheating, lying, and plagiarism.

Consideration for the Rights and Well Being of Others

Chatham University strives to create a civil community whose members respect one another's voices, dignity, and physical well-being. Violation of another person's rights, including threats, intentional libel, slander, physical harm, or harassment of another person will not be tolerated. Members of the Chatham community will refrain from carrying out any action that is harmful to oneself or another person, including physical, verbal, or mental abuse.

Honesty in All Relationships

Creation of a civil community requires honesty in the relationships binding the community. Honesty in scholarly activities, including coursework, research, and open debate, is the foundation of a thriving and creative academic community. Members of the Chatham community agree to conduct themselves honestly in all academic and social endeavors.

Personal Integrity

All members of the Chatham community are expected to conduct themselves with integrity in personal and academic affairs and to serve the best interests of the entire community. Respect for the people and property around us is a founding principle of our community. Students, faculty, and staff members agree to be personally responsible for upholding local, commonwealth, and federal laws, as well as the academic and social standards set forth for the campus community.

Honor Pledge

Realizing the trust placed in me, I affirm my faith in the individual and in personal integrity, and I assume the responsibility of maintaining the tenets of the Honor Code.

Click here for the for the Student Judicial Process.

+Student Judicial Process

+Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is defined as upholding the tenets of the Chatham University Honor Code of intellectual independence, consideration for the rights and wellbeing of others, honesty in all relationships, and personal integrity as they relate to all academic pursuits at the University.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is defined as failure to abide by the tenets of the Chatham University Honor Code of intellectual independence, consideration for the rights and wellbeing of others, honesty in all relationships, and personal integrity as they relate to academic pursuits at the University.

Acts of academic misconduct are distinguished by the nature of the act according to the reasonable belief of the instructor and fall into two broad categories - Technical and Substantiated.

Technical acts of academic misconduct are those reasonably believed by an instructor to be purely technical in nature without intent to achieve an academic advantage. Technical acts include, but are not limited to incorrectly citing, paraphrasing, and attributing sources within an academic course or exercise. Technical acts of academic misconduct do not present egregious and blatant attempts to use sources in a manner consistent with substantiated acts of academic misconduct.

Substantiated acts of academic misconductare those reasonably believed by an instructor to achieve an academic advantage and violate the tenets of the Chatham University Honor Code of intellectual independence, consideration for the rights and well-being of others, honesty in all relationships, and personal integrity as they relate to academic pursuits at the University. Substantiated acts include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Alteration of University Documents: Forgery of any signatures; submitting an altered transcript of grades to or from another institution or employer; putting one's name on another individual's work; or falsely altering a previously graded exam or assignment.
  • Cheating: Cheating includes fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic course or exercise in an attempt to meet academic requirements by gaining an unfair advantage and/or using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids on any academic course or exercise.

    Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to using any electronic device to copy, transmit, or receive information during an exam; taking information into an exam without permission; asking someone to take a test, write a paper, or complete any assignment for you; obtaining a copy of an exam without instructor permission; and sharing copies of exams with students who have yet to take the exam.
  • Disturbance in the Classroom or Lab: Disturbances in a traditional or online classroom or lab that serve to create an unfair academic advantage for oneself or a disadvantage for another member of the academic community.

    Examples of disturbing a classroom or lab include, but are not limited to stealing or damaging lab equipment and/or experiments; pulling the fire alarm to avoid a course or exercise.
  • Facilitating Academic Misconduct: When an individual helps or attempts to help another individual carry out an act of academic misconduct.

    Examples of facilitating academic misconduct include, but are not limited to collusion; willingly providing or selling a paper, notes, handouts, and/or any other materials in an unapproved manner that provide an academic advantage to another student; or agreeing to take a test, write a paper, or complete an assignment for someone else.
  • False Representation, Fabrication or Alteration of Information: The unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic course or exercise.

    Examples of false representation, fabrication, or alteration of information include, but are not limited to furnishing false information about oneself or a writer and/or speaker; fabricating or altering information and presenting it as legitimate; providing false or misleading information to an instructor or any other University official.
  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism is when one represents the organizational design, ideas, phrases, sentences or larger units of discourse from another writer and/or speaker without proper acknowledgement in an academic course or exercise. Plagiarism occurs when one fails to document all the sources of text and ideas that derive from someone else's work.

    Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, failure to enclose text copied directly from a source in quotation marks and to identify the source; failure to identify a source of summarized or paraphrased material; failure to identify the source of an idea taken from someone else's work; cutting and pasting from electronic sources without citation; self-plagiarism of one's previous work in an unapproved manner; and failure to acknowledge sources from various formats or mediums, including web pages, television, films, artwork, digital or sound recordings, speeches, and traditional hard copy.

+Reporting Acts of Academic Misconduct

Individual Responsibility as a Member of the Chatham University Community

Any member of the Chatham University community who has witnessed an apparent act of academic misconduct (technical or substantiated), or has information that reasonably leads to the conclusion that such an act has occurred or has been attempted, has the responsibility to inform the Academic Integrity Officer or their designee as soon as possible at academicintergrity@chatham.edu to ensure adherence to the University's academic integrity policy and procedures.

Contacting the Academic Integrity Officer initiates notification of instructors, Chairs/Program Directors, and/or Deans to apparent acts of academic misconduct in order to comply with this policy and its procedures.

+Procedures for Addressing Acts of Academic Misconduct

Identifying the Act of Academic Misconduct

  1. The instructor identifies a technical or substantiated act of academic misconduct.
  2. The instructor notifies the Academic Integrity Officer or their designee that they have identified a technical or substantiated act of academic misconduct.
  3. The Academic Integrity Officer consults with the instructor about the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures to begin the process to address the act of academic misconduct with a student and indicates whether or not this is the student's first offense.

    If it is not the student's first offense of a technical or substantiated act of academic misconduct, the Academic Integrity Officer in consultation with the Dean of the appropriate school will determine how to proceed based on the procedures outlined in this policy. In addition, professionally accredited programs may have approved policies in place that students are also bound by and should reference in addition to those outlined here.

    Previous acts of academic misconduct committed by a student in the same course, but not discovered and/or reported until the most recent act is identified, may be entered into the Academic Misconduct Form. However, these retroactive notifications will not impact the classification of the offense and/or the appropriate judicial response as outlined in this policy.

    Technical and/or substantiated acts of academic misconduct identified after a grade has been submitted for a course or at any other point while the student is still actively enrolled should be reported and proceed through the appropriate disciplinary process. However, in accordance with University policy regarding the changing of grades, acts of academic misconduct reported and adjudicated for a course one year after a grade has been submitted will not result in a grade change, but may result in appropriate sanctions being given to the student.

    In those instances where an act of academic misconduct occurs at the end of an academic semester/term before the appropriate disciplinary process can take place, a grade of Incomplete will be given to a student for the course until the case is reviewed, sanctions, if appropriate, are given and completed, and any potential appeals are made which could further determine the student's final grade.

    A student subject to an academic action which requires the student to withdraw from the University before the appropriate disciplinary process has occurred will be notified that academic integrity proceedings must take place. The student will receive reasonable accommodations in order to participate in the process. If a student chooses not to respond to these notifications, the appropriate disciplinary process will proceed without the student present. The student will be notified of the outcome of the proceedings and is required to complete any sanctions related to the act of academic misconduct in addition to those requirements associated with the student's academic action in order to return to the University.

    Students who commit an act of academic misconduct in their final academic semester/term and intend to graduate will not be permitted to do so until the case has proceeded through the appropriate disciplinary process.

Technical Acts of Academic Misconduct

  1. If the act of academic misconduct is categorized as technical and is the student's first offense, the instructor should identify the appropriate course-based and institutional sanctions for the student in consultation with their Department Chair/Program Director or their designee and fill out an Academic Misconduct Form which should include a description and documentation of the technical act.
  2. The instructor shall notify the student about a concern regarding academic misconduct and schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the act and review the Academic Misconduct Form.
  3. The instructor, with or without the Department Chair/Program Director or their designee shall meet with the student to discuss the technical act of academic misconduct and review the Academic Misconduct Form. The form provides space for a student to sign to 1.) acknowledge they have met with the instructor to discuss the act of academic misconduct and 2.) acknowledge responsibility for the act of academic misconduct.

    If an informal resolution is not reached, or the student or faculty member requests a hearing, the Academic Integrity Officer will notify the lead of the appropriate Academic Integrity Council subcommittee to convene a hearing to review the case in a timely manner using the process outlined for adjudicating the substantiated acts of academic misconduct.
  4. The Academic Misconduct Form, with or without signatures from a student, outlining appropriate course-based and institutional sanctions, including a description and supporting documentation of the technical act, is sent to the Academic Integrity Officer.

    If the form is signed, the incident continues to follow the process outlined for technical acts of academic misconduct. If the form is not signed and/or a student refuses to acknowledge responsibility, the act is automatically elevated to a substantiated act of academic misconduct.
  5. When the Academic Integrity Officer receives a copy of the Academic Misconduct Form for a technical act, the Dean of the appropriate school in which the student is enrolled is notified to review and determine the appropriateness of the sanctions put forth by the instructor. The Dean will confirm the applicability of such sanctions and may reject any finding adverse to the student, but may not make new findings adverse to the student or increase the severity of the sanctions. Prior technical or substantiated acts of academic misconduct may be considered only in recommending sanctions, not in determining guilt or innocence.
  6. On behalf of the Dean, the Academic Integrity Officer informs the instructor, department chair/program director, student, the student's advisor, the Vice President for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and any others who should be notified concerning the sanctions of the Dean's decision. The decision will be communicated in writing in a timely manner and must include the date by which a student must complete any sanctions.
  7. A student must complete the required sanctions satisfactorily by the identified deadline and submit verification to the Academic Integrity Officer and any other appropriate individual identified. Failure to complete sanctions will result in additional repercussions.
  8. The Academic Integrity Officer informs the instructor, department chair/program director, student, the student's advisor, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and any others who should be notified of the completion of sanctions.
  9. The student has the right to file a written appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) business days.

Substantiated Acts of Academic Misconduct

  1. If the act of academic misconduct is categorized as substantiated and is the student's first offense, the instructor should identify the appropriate course-based and institutional sanctions for the student in consultation with their Department Chair/Program Director or their designee and fill out an Academic Misconduct Form which should include a description and supporting documentation of the substantiated act.
  2. The instructor shall notify the student about a concern regarding academic misconduct and schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the act and review the Academic Misconduct Form.
  3. The instructor, with or without the Department Chair/Program Director or their designee shall meet with the student to discuss the act of academic misconduct and review the Academic Misconduct Form. The form provides space for a student to sign to 1.) Acknowledge they have met with the instructor to discuss the act of academic misconduct and 2.) acknowledge responsibility for the act of academic misconduct.
  4. The Academic Misconduct Form, with or without signatures from a student, outlining appropriate course-based and institutional sanctions, including a description and supporting documentation of the substantiated act, is sent to the Academic Integrity Officer.
  5. The Academic Integrity Officer determines if the student who is accused of committing a substantiated act of academic misconduct is an undergraduate or graduate student and contacts the faculty lead of the appropriate subcommittee of the Academic Integrity Council to convene a hearing to review the case at a time convenient for the accused student and the reporting instructor.
  6. Hearings will be heard by the appropriate Academic Integrity Council subcommittee and will be divided into four sections - the introduction delivered by the subcommittee lead, the presentation of the case by the student and the instructor, questioning by the subcommittee, and the subcommittee review and deliberation.
  7. After the hearing, the lead of the Academic Integrity Council subcommittee presents a written summary of the subcommittee's deliberations and recommendations to the appropriate Dean and the Academic Integrity Officer in a timely manner.
  8. The Dean will confirm the applicability of such sanctions and may reject any finding adverse to the student, but may not make new findings adverse to the student or increase the severity of the sanctions. Prior technical or substantiated acts of academic misconduct may be considered only in recommending sanctions, not in determining guilt or innocence.
  9. On behalf of the Dean, the Academic Integrity Officer informs the instructor, department chair/program director, student, the student's advisor, the Vice President for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and any others who should be notified concerning the sanctions of the Dean's decision. The decision will be communicated in writing in a timely manner and must include the date by which a student must complete their sanctions.
  10. A student must complete the required sanctions satisfactorily by the identified deadline and submit verification to the Academic Integrity Officer and any other appropriate individual identified. Failure to complete sanctions will result in additional repercussions.
  11. The Academic Integrity Officer informs the instructor, department chair/program director, student, the student's advisor, the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and any others who should be notified concerning the sanctions that the sanctions.
  12. The student has the right to file a written appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) within five (5) business days.

+Consequences for Acts of Academic Misconduct

Appropriate sanctions for a technical act of academic misconduct may include, but are not limited to, requiring the student to resubmit the assignment or take a new exam; failing the student on the assignment or exam; lowering the student's grade in the course; requiring an assigned paper or research project related to ethics or academic integrity; loss of privileges to complete a faculty course evaluation for the course in which the act was committed; scheduling a meeting with the Academic Integrity Officer; requiring the student to participate in a workshop, seminar, or tutorial on ethics, academic integrity, or specific writing mechanics; or the appointment of a writing tutor to assist with writing skills.

Appropriate sanctions for a substantiated act of academic misconduct may include, but are not limited to requiring the student to participate in a workshop or seminar on ethics or academic integrity; requiring an assigned paper or research project related to ethics or academic integrity; loss of privileges to complete a faculty course evaluation for the course in which the act was committed; scheduling a meeting with the Academic Integrity Officer; participation in a credit bearing course on ethics or academic integrity; failure of the course; removal of graduate fellowship or assistantship support; removal of scholarships or honors; academic integrity probation; academic integrity suspension for one or more semesters/terms; or academic integrity dismissal from the University in addition to any course-based or institutional sanctions recommended by the instructor, academic integrity council subcommittee, and Dean of the appropriate school.

A student who chooses to withdraw from the University rather than participate in the judicial process will be classified as having been withdrawn for reasons of academic misconduct. A student who withdraws under these circumstances is not permitted to reenroll or participate in any class or program until the pending matter is resolved. A student cannot avoid consequences for violating the University's Academic Integrity Policy by withdrawing from the course in which the violation occurred.

If a student does not complete the sanctions associated with their act of academic misconduct by the determined deadline, the student will be placed on academic integrity probation and a hold may be placed on the student's account. Extenuating circumstances which prevent a student from completing sanctions by the determined deadline must be documented and will be considered on a case by case basis.

+Appeals to Decisions on Acts of Academic Misconduct

A student has the right to file a written appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) within five (5) business days of receiving the Dean's decision for the following reasons only: 1.) a procedural error unfairly and materially affected the outcome of the case 2.) evidence has been discovered that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing or 3.) there was a clear abuse of discretion on the part of the Academic Integrity Council subcommittee.

The appeal must identify and cite the issues or findings the student is challenging as well as documentation supporting their position.

The VPAA will contact the student who makes an appeal regarding the next steps in the review of the appeal.

The VPAA's decision will be final and communicated to the student in writing within ten (10) business days.

Further instructions on how to write an appeal will be provided to a student with the Dean's decision. Questions about the appeals process should be directed to the Academic Integrity Officer.

+Retention of Information

Chatham University retains information regarding all acts of academic misconduct for internal institutional purposes. Third party release of this information only occurs when official requests are deemed necessary. If a student is suspended, withdraws from the University or dismissed for an act of academic misconduct, this information becomes a part of the student's transcript documentation.

Student records of technical and/or substantiated acts of academic misconduct are maintained by the Academic Integrity Officer and shared with the Dean's Office of each School, as well as the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.